Wednesday, 13 March 2013

Inconvenient Built Ins - Working With What You Have

Emily A Clark is having a link up party today where bloggers can show off and share some of the projects they've done where they worked with what they had.  She's had posts on this topic for a few months, showing ways she and some of her readers have worked with things like beat up hardwood floors, less than desirable furniture, long narrow living rooms, etc.

So todays post is was a last minute throw together of a project where I worked with what I had.  When we redecorated our office/guest room into a nursery for our little girl we were faced with a bit of a challenge.  While the room was larger than the nursery in our old house this room had lots of "things" in it.  Three windows in the corner, a closet door in the middle of one wall, the door on another, and built ins.

We have a lot of built ins in this house.  A doctor had this house custom made back in the fifties (so I'm told) and just about every room on the main floor has some kind of built ins.  While some are nice, others are pretty inconveniently placed and make furniture placement difficult.  That was the case in the nursery.  I loved the bookshelf and drawers in the corner but didn't love the desk that was attached to it.
I wish I had a before picture of the actual desk but I didn't think ahead at the time and was just eager to get rid of it.  When we started the room my plan was to remove the desk altogether.  It was covered in a peeling shiny (but scratched up) black laminate and constructed of ugly pine.  It even had one of those slide out keyboard shelf things.  I wanted it gone!
However when it came time to take it out it wasn't just some boards attached to the side of the bookcase and mounted on the wall, it was literally part of both.  If we were going to take it out it would've been major surgery and left the side of the bookcase marred and meant a lot of patching and possibly drywalling the wall behind it.  Since that work wasn't in the timeline or budget we decided the best route was to try and spruce it up a bit. We tore off the laminate, removed the keyboard shelf, and sanded everything really well.  A few coats of primer and paint later we had what would be our baby's change table. 
It actually ended up being a perfect length for the change pad and had enough room behind it for all of the diapers, wipes, lotions, etc. to sit conveniently and space underneath for the laundry basket.  It was one less piece of furniture to try and fit in (since our change table was too large to fit in that space anyways) and when she no longer needs a change table we can take the pad off and bring a chair up so it can be a desk again. 
I can't wait to see her sitting there drawing masterpieces... or doing homework!

Working With What You Have link up at emilyaclark.comCheck out the link up party!



  1. That is one neat changing table! Love how you worked with it...great job!

  2. Great solution! And, a great example of working with what you have :) Thanks for linking up.